Filling Professional Staff Vacancies Through Succession Planning Policy

  • Affirmative Action
  • Employment
Responsible Unit Office of Human Resources
Responsible Cabinet Member VP for Administration and Finance
Adoption Date Unavailable
Last Revision Date
Last Review Date

Policy Statement

Statement of Intent

In order to increase the diversity of our faculty and staff, our Affirmative Action Plan requires that all job vacancies be openly searched. It is encouraged that regional or national searches are conducted in order to attract a wide and diverse pool of candidates. 

The University recognizes that it is not always practical to conduct an external national or regional search and that, occasionally, internal campus or internal SUNY searches are necessary. This is particularly the case when a variety of early retirement and voluntary separation programs are in place and budget realities require that as many vacancies as possible from these programs be left unfilled. 

As the result of the demographics in the workforce and in the spirit of sound human resources planning, the University has encouraged formal and informal efforts at succession planning. During this process, employees were identified as temporary and/or long term replacements for key positions in the organization. Managers were encouraged to create performance plans that included strong development components to further their departmental succession plans.

Balancing Affirmative Action Efforts with Succession planning Considerations

There is a recognition that the University needs to balance the continuing efforts to diversify the workforce with the need to plan for filling key vacancies in the organization. These two goals need not be mutually exclusive and may frequently complement each other. 

In order to cultivate both goals, diversity and succession planning, the University will allow internal campus searches for the hiring of internal candidates into positions designated as key positions. Should there not be a sufficiently large candidate pool within the University, it is permissible to do an internal SUNY search. The internal search is predicated on an external search, at the regional or national level, for the backfilled position or an entry level vacancy resulting from the internal promotion. The resulting search will focus strongly on the diversity issues identified in the work unit and the University.

However, the fiscal realities are such that departmental and programmatic re-organizations and/or internal promotions may take place without a backfill of the vacated positions. The Director of Human Resources will track these situations closely and when it becomes possible to re-fill these vacant positions in the future, they will ensure that the resulting search will focus strongly on recruiting a diverse candidate pool. 

There may still be some exceptional situations where a permanent search waiver is requested for an internal promotion without a search, usually related to specific types of expertise and/or technical training. These will be closely scrutinized by President’s Cabinet before approval.

Implementation Process

The Provost or divisional Vice President must develop a plan that outlines the rationale for classification of the position as a key position that needs an internal search, a description of the internal search process and the external search strategy for the resulting vacancy. This plan will be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and the Affirmative Action Officer and upon approval, an internal search will be granted. Any increases in staffing costs that would result from this plan will require either divisional funding or approval by President’s Cabinet. 

Where the Provost or divisional Vice President identifies a situation where a permanent search waiver is requested for an internal promotion without a search, usually relating to specific types of expertise and/or technical training, these must be reviewed and approved by President’s Cabinet after review and approval by the Director of Human Resources and the Affirmative Action Officer.


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Policy Procedures

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History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2019-12-01 Five-year review
Adoption Date Unavailable Policy Adopted


There are no approvals for this policy at this time.